South West France - Madiran

5 important questions on South West France - Madiran

Madiran is in near the Pyrenees that separate France from Spain. Which climate and what kind of wines are produced?

  • 80km inland from Atlantic Ocean, Maritime climate
  • AOC Madiran: High tannin red of Tannat
  • AOC Pacherenc du Vic Bilh: late harvest white, sweet of local varieties.
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Describe the growing environment of Madiran

  • Atlantic influence
  • High rainfall, 1000mm
  • Sunny and dry summers, cool nights
  • Dry southern Föhn wind, see Jurancon.
  • On slopes, soil clay and limestone with good drainage
  • Flat land: loam soils dominate, less tannic, drunk earlier.
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Tannat is the most grown variety in Madiran, describe the characteristics. Which other varieties are planted?

  • Vigorous; best supported on a trellis.
  • It is mid-ripening, picked before autumn rains.
  • As a variety it is highly tannic, which affects decisions about winemaking.
  • intended for ageing; typically deep ruby in colour, with pronounced aromas and flavours of blackberry and blackcurrant plus oak flavours, high tannins, high acidity with a full body and alcohol that ranges from the top end of medium to high.
  • very good to outstanding in quality and mid- to premium priced. Earlier drinking styles with lower levels of tannins and concentration are also made


Other varieties: Cabernet Franc, cabernet Sauvignon, Fer Savadou
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What is set in the regulations for AOC Madiran?

  • 60-80% Tannat, blended with CF, CS or Fer
  • Grapes need to be destemmed (tannins)
  • Micro oxygenations was introduced
  • Oak and bottle ageing add to cost; at least one year maturation before being sold.
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20% of Madiran is exported to Belgium, Germany and Canada. Name some producers.

Alain Brumont
Ch. D'Aydie

cooperatives: Plaimont (dominant in Saint Mont AOC) and Cave de Crouseilles.
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